Hamels Throws, Encouraged
Cole Hamels threw a bullpen session this morning at Bright House Field and said he felt no tightness in his left elbow.
Hamels split his session with a five-minute break to simulate the break in between innings. In the past, Hamels said it took far less less than five minutes for the elbow to begin swelling up. This time he said it felt fine.
“From the windup it felt good,” Hamels said. “The only soreness I have is from the injection, and that has been fading. Other than that, all the spots that were kind of causing me soreness didn’t cause me any discomfort at all, so I think that’s a good thing.”
And his chances of starting Opening Night on April 5?
“Truly, I think that’s the last thing on my mind,” he said. “I just need to be game ready. I haven’t started throwing my curveball yet. I need to really focus on that, and I really need to be able to focus on locating my fastball in and out and throwing my changeup for strikes. That’s the only way I’ll be effective and good to this team is if I can go out there pitch healthy and get the job done.”
Opening Night is two weeks from tomorrow. It doesn’t seem to be enough time to build up enough arm strength. Rich Dubee has said he likes he starters to have thrown 100 pitches at least once before the season starts.
“For Opening Day, I think it’s tough,” Hamels said. “I think if I can get anywhere from 80 to 90 pitches going into the season, my first start I might just throw 90 to 100. Hopefully, I can compete in a ballgame there.”
Hamels will pitch in a Minor League game Tuesday. If that goes well, he likely would make a Grapefruit League start March 29. He then could start April 3 against Tampa Bay at Citizens Bank Park. That would not put him on schedule to start Opening Day.
Chan Ho Park had been scheduled to start today against the Twins, but he tweaked his left hamstring in his last start Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals. He felt the hamstring when he threw his curveball in his last bullpen session Thursday, so the Phillies decided to test the hamstring with a bullpen session today.
He said it felt fine, and he will staret Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays.